Last month’s overview described UV’s change of focus from travelling over 20 km south on many days to a smaller range at the north end of his territory. In March UV has only visited the far south a couple of times as can be seen in this animation by Paul.
UV’s strategy when travelling south is to fly down offshore and usually on a mazy path. His ‘out’ path has been extracted for a small part of the 3 March excursion. Sometimes he stops on the way, as here, other times not.
During field observations at the south end of the Langue de Barbarie in late February numerous ospreys were hunting at sea and bringing their catch to eat whilst perched on the beach between the ocean and the lagoon. The reason for UV’s change in behaviour is impossible to know – there are a lot of variables eg fish supply, fishing conditions, the fact many ospreys have left the Langue de Barbarie….
Generally in March UV has had quite a restricted range in the area around the mouth of the Senegal River. On 9 March he had a ‘loafing on the beach’ day; the Google Earth image was taken relatively near low tide so UV may not have had wet feet when apparently perched in water.
On three days in March UV explored new areas north of the Ngalam River. He has visited the area to the south of it where the Canal du Gandiolais runs down to the N2 road but has seldom been across the river. On 7 March he had a small exploration going up to a dam before flying off downriver.
The dam is one of a number in the area built by a French agrobusinessman, Mikäel Laurent, to improve agricultural opportunities in the area. Some of the fields you can see in the image contain butternut squash being grown for none other than Tesco!
A few days later UV was back over the Ngalam again and flew across Toddé swamps after perching there for a while. We know Toddé well, Frédéric Bacuez saw Kielder Blue 1H there in November 2013, the first report of an overseas sighting of a Kielder osprey. UV was very near the historic spot.
On 21 March UV was back again. This time he investigated the southern end of the Marigot de Khant-Sud as well as Toddé.
The Trois Marigots, marshlands where seemingly endless sandy scrub is suddenly ended by reedbeds, ponds and water lilies, are a haven for waterbirds.
Finally, here are a few more photos of UV in his territory. The first ones were taken as the sun rose on a hazy morning but despite the haze you can get a good idea of the habitat in the roost area. As well as see UV! Click to enlarge.
Later in the day a visit to sandy scrub was rewarded by sight of UV flying from the coast with a fish. This is the habitat.
Vic’s photos of UV’s fly by are in the last UV blog – these ones aren’t sharp but you can see he has a very pale chest like his Glaslyn born father White YA and his father, 11(98).
Many thanks to Vic for sharing his photos. To Frédéric for information about the Trois Marigots and the Tesco snippet! And to Paul for the animation, much work for a minute but well worth it.